Changes expected in NZ eventing’s Super League leaderboard

Samantha Felton and Ricker Ridge Escada are poised to make their mark at the top of the sport.
Samantha Felton and Ricker Ridge Escada are poised to make their mark at the top of the sport. © Barbara Thomson Photography (Trewey Black)

This weekend marks the opening event of New Zealand’s Eventing Super League for the autumn season, at Puhinui near Auckland.

A field of promising young combinations will be hoping to catch the selectors’ attention as they look for a squad to prepare for the Oceania Championship at the NRM Three-day Event at Taupo in May.


The field of seven in the Honda CIC3* (short format) class does not include the three combinations at the top of the Super League table, so this is a chance to close the gap on the leaders before the Land Rover Eventing at the Farmlands Horse of the Year show  fortnight later.


Super League leader Fraser King has suffered a broken foot so is unlikely to compete in the immediate future, and Donna Smith’s Tangolooma is rehabilitating after a minor injury in the Honda CCI3* (long format) at Puhinui in December.


NZ High Performance squad members Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation will start in the HOY Eventing, but with an overseas trip on the agenda this year they are targeting a limited number of high profile events.


Development squad members Samantha Felton on Ricker Ridge Escada, and Virginia Thompson on Star Nouveau, will want to impress, as will Young Rider Francesca Silver on Case In Point, tackling her first CIC3* competition.


Diane Gilder and Your Attorney are also stepping up after consistently successful 2* performances, while Monica Oakley and Fontain are returning after time out for injury. Shelley Ross and Coleraine Coaltown have good form from limited outings, ande Glenda Thomson and Private Benjamin could spring a surprise.


Super League standings after Puhinui CCI3*: Fraser King, Nadal, 141 pts; Donna Smith, Tangolooma, 105 pts; Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation, 96 pts; Samantha Felton, Ricker Ridge Escada, 51 pts; Emily Cammock, Dambala, 48 pts; Matthew Grayling, NRM Lowenberg, 48 pts.




This article has been written by a contributor to

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